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From girls to women: gender-based violence across the life course

Time (GMT +00) 18:30 19:45


Dr. Mary Ellsberg has more than 30 years of experience in international research and programs on gender and development. Before joining the George Washington University in August 2012, Dr. Ellsberg served as Vice President for Research and Programs at the International Center for Research on Women. Dr. Ellsberg’s deep connection to global gender issues stems not only from her academic work, but also from living in Nicaragua for nearly 20 years, leading public health and women’s rights advocacy. 

H.E. Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed is the Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations. Ambassador Mohamed has been in the Maldives Foreign Service since May 1985, and has held various positions at the Ministry and at Missions overseas, including Foreign Secretary 2013-2017. Ambassador Mohamed was the main focal point in the Government of Maldives for mobilising and coordinating foreign aid in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami. He was also among the key officials that coordinated national development planning during the period 2005-2007.

Lois Quam joined Pathfinder as CEO in 2017. She has been named three times to FORTUNE’s list of the most influential women leaders in business. Lois has served as a senior leader in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, applying her strategic and operating experience to drive business revenue and earnings growth and solve public policy challenges.

Michelle Nunn became President and CEO of CARE USA in July 2015. She has devoted her career to civic and public service as a social entrepreneur, a nonprofit CEO and a candidate for U.S. Senate. She co-founded the volunteer-mobilization organization Hands On Atlanta, growing its volunteer engagement model from a single entity to a national network of more than 50 affiliates. Nunn helped initiate and oversaw that group’s merger with Points of Light, founded by President George H. W. Bush to promote volunteerism. 

Sophia Wanjiku Ngugi is currently working at International Rescue Committee (IRC) as Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE) Technical Advisor for the East Africa countries. She provides technical support for WPE programs in Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe; and supporting projects in South Sudan and Kenya. In addition to having first-hand experience of working with adolescents in humanitarian contexts she holds a Master’s degree in Gender and Development, Master’s in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid and a BA in Sociology. 

Beatrice Savadye is the Director of Real Open Opportunities for Transformation Support (ROOTS) and has been working in the field of women’s rights for over nine years, focusing on promoting dignified futures for young women and girls through advocacy, lobbying and capacity building of young women. In 2013, through her advocacy, Beatrice managed to get her government to remove a 15% tax charged on feminine hygiene sanitary wear. Her organization is running the 'Not Ripe for Marriage' Campaign on ending child marriages in Zimbabwe which contributed to the ban of child marriage through a ruling by the Constitutional Court since January 2016. She is a member of the Girls Not Brides Partnership. 

Dr Nicola Jones is the Director of the DFID-funded nine-year global mixed methods Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence research programme. Her expertise lies in the intersection of gender, age and social inclusion and social protection. She has conducted a wide range of policy research projects in East Africa, Asia and the Middle East, including recent mixed methods studies on child marriage in Ethiopia, gender-based violence in South Asia and cash transfers to support Palestine and Syrian refugees.


Mary Ellsberg @MaryEllsberg - Founding Director, Global Women's Institute, George Washington University 


H.E. Ali Naseer Mohamed @AlinyMohamed - Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations

Lois Quam @QuamLois - CEO, Pathfinder International 

Michelle Nunn @MichelleNunn - CEO, Care USA 

Sophia Wanjiku Ngugi - Technical Advisor, Women's Protection and Empowerment, Violence Prevention & Response Unit, International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Beatrice Savadye @BeatriceSavadye - Director, Real Open Opportunities for Transformation Support (ROOTS)

Dr Nicola Jones @njonesODI - Director, Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) and Principal Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)


Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. While violence in various forms is a risk and reality across the life course, the gendered profile of violence becomes even more pronounced as girls reach adolescence; yet a gap continues to exist between child protection initiatives and adult-focused gender-based violence (GBV) programming. This event will explore experiences of violence in childhood and adolescence, with a sharp focus on the impact of GBV on the development of adolescent girls in developing settings, humanitarian crises and protracted conflicts.

Gender transformative approaches to better prevent and respond to violence at an early age and during adolescence will be discussed, including initiatives to address practices based on gender inequality that perpetuate GBV, such as child marriage and FGM/C. By amplifying the voices of adolescents and connecting their experiences to policy and technical expertise, this event aims to bridge the gap between violence against children and violence against women, improving multi-sector programmes to more effectively meet the unique needs of adolescent girls worldwide.

United Nations Plaza New York